Saturday, April 28, 2007

Globe & Mail Prints Quite Possibly The Worst Career Advice Article EVER!

I'm embarrassed to have read this, and I'm embarrassed-by-proxy on behalf of anyone who thinks they learned something from it that will help their career:

Globe and Mail: A little S&M on the job can take you a long way
Ladies, say hello to the corporate dominatrix.
It doesn't require whips, chains or leather boots, but if you're harbouring fantasies about getting ahead in your career, it may be time to assume the position of corporate dominatrix, and engage in a little workplace S&M, argues Ms. Robyn, the author of a new book called The Corporate Dominatrix: Six Roles to Play to Get Your Way at Work.
Beneath the suits and civilities, workplaces really are dens of sadomasochism, where bosses and workers unwittingly act out three basic S&M roles: dominants, submissives and switchables, who move back and forth between the first two roles, Ms. Robyn says.
The result of these three groups of players interacting daily in the workplace is a constant surge of pleasure and pain, she says.

That's it, let's perpetuate the stereotype that for a woman to get ahead in the "man's world" of business, she has to be twice as tough and twice as mean to get respect.

Even better, let's go all the way, formalizing the "I need to be a bitch to get respect from my co-workers" mindset by visualizing yourself as a dominatrix.

Unfortunately, demanding respect never plays out. It doesn't work when men do it, and it backfires just as often when women try it. Respect is earned. You become respected due to the quality of your work and the professionalism of your personal interactions. Man or women, throwing your weight around the office turns you into the pointy-haired boss from Dilbert. But no, feel free to model your work persona after him! Just make sure to drop me an email and let me know how it works out.

Fuzzy-think gurus like Anthony Robbins counsel that the metaphors you create to describe your life set the tone for how you live. Since there's some truth to that, I would suggest that the consequences of setting yourself up as the office dominatrix in your head will involve you being regularly mocked and alienated by your co-workers, and possibly even marginalized in your career track.

Sphere: Related Content


Flatland Pastor said...

More incredible foolishness wrapped up in purported professionalism. It's disturbing -to say the least - to think that a "respected" book publisher would actually pay someone for this dreck.

The single biggest lie that premeates the business world - and indeed most of human endeavors - is that you can be a different person in different circumstances. You can be a moral, loving parent at home; a sociopathic corporate warrior at work; a bacchinalian hedonist on vacation and an opportunistic slime anytime you thnk nobody's watching - and all of those persona can exist comfortably and peacefully inside one psyche. If you believe that you will believe you can change orange juice into Pol Roget Champagne just by pouring it into a different shaped glass.

Schiziphrenia is epidemic in the developed world - rising in direct proportion in the population to the extent that society forces its members to abandon their ethical core to compete and survive. Ms. Robyn's advice may help you get what you want, but it will never help you get what you need - two things that are very often at complete odds with each other, ask any addicted smoker.

In the 1981 Michael Mann directed movie "Thief" lifer convict Okla, played by Willie Nelson, gives James Caan, playing Frank, this advice:

"Lie to no one. If you care about them why would you lie to them? And if they are a stranger who the **** are they that you should have to lie to them?"

In order to play the games Ms. Robyn suggests the first person one has to lie to is themselves. Then they have to buy their own lie before they can sell it to anybody else. Life is all one piece - business or personal, public or private - and you and I have to live in every single second of our own journey. More than enough people will tell you more than enough lies before your days are done - why contribute to that?

Eric said...


The dumbasses who give career advice in Maxim (the guy who wrote, "48 Laws of Power") and Men's Health (Gil Swartz, last I recall) are seriously clueless about the topic.